Andy Duncan, the former head of Channel 4, is set to run The National Lottery in the UK, leaving his role as chief executive of luxury car dealership HR Owen after just a year.
Camelot made the surprise announcement yesterday that Mr Duncan would join Camelot UK Lotteries, the licensed operator of the National Lottery, as managing director.
He will take on the newly created role at the end of next month, reporting to group chief executive Dianne Thompson, in control of "all of Camelot's operations for the National Lottery" in the UK.
He will be responsible for more than 700 staff across all of the company's major departments in the UK, including marketing, sales, insight and IT.
Ms Thompson said: "He is an instinctive marketer with undoubted flair and a proven track record in growing brands and running businesses." This will allow Ms Thompson to oversee diversifying the business.
She added that with Mr Duncan's experience in digital markets the National Lottery would "continue to deliver responsible and sustainable growth". Mr Duncan, who worked in marketing at Unilever for 17 years, called the move "an incredible prospect". Camelot has the licence to run the lottery in the UK until 2019 and has applied for an extension.
After Unilever, Mr Duncan, 49, was appointed marketing and communications director of the BBC in 2001 and became the founding chairman of Freeview. He was appointed chief executive of C4 in 2004 until 2009. He joined HR Owen last year.
HR Owen, which traces its roots back nearly 80 years, has moved quickly to appoint a new chief executive. It announced that Joe Doyle, most recently regional managing director of HPI, a company that checks the history of used cars, would take the role.
One insider said Mr Duncan had done a "very good job, and was instrumental in setting up the growth strategy. The board is confident Joe will carry that on".